My niece pointed out that no wonder I fell off my bicycle, the ground behind me is far too rocky!

Triathlon Training (And why I should not be allowed on a bicycle)

I decided in early August that a really good challenge for me would be to attempt to complete a triathlon. This felt acceptably stupid given the fact that I can neither swim nor ride a bicycle. Still, plenty of time to teach an old dog new tricks and all that, so I found some friends who happened to be stupid enough to attempt to teach me to ride a bicycle.

Fully embracing the stupidity of this, my friends decided the best way to learn was to take me on a long ride out to Ely. I did a couple of wobbly laps around a car park before we started making our way along the river, through Stourbridge Common, across to Fen Ditton. The first mile only had one near miss; I almost hit a woman on a narrow bit of path. The second mile also had a near miss; I almost hit a metal post as I was trying to navigate my bicycle over a cattle grid. A pattern was emerging.

We sort of settled into it, two of them would ride ahead and one would stay (some distance) behind me, keeping an eye out in case I came off. We were making reasonable progress but I felt like I was slowing everyone down. Eventually we ended up on some dirt track somewhere between Waterbeach and Lode; there was a nice long straight stretch which was perfect for building up a bit of speed.

Two of our little group were well out in the distance, and feeling confident about being able to cycle in a straight line I decided that I would accelerate as fast as my little legs would let me and catch up with them. I was rapidly catching up with them right up until the point where I definitely wasn’t catching up with them. I also discovered that I now very much wasn’t riding a bicycle anymore either. I was hurtling through the air and I landed somewhat awkwardly, palms first, my left arm taking the brunt of the impact. That was not a pleasant one.

Initially I was fine, concerned that I had fucked up and had ruined everyone’s day if I was unable to continuing cycling. A couple of minutes later I was very much not okay. My wrist was definitely not okay. Bugger!

Evan and Sarah fashioned a sling, gave me some food and water and painkillers while Lindsay cycled off to see if she could find somewhere with a first aid kit. She returned defeated and instead we wheeled the bicycles across to Waterbeach. I say we, the three of them wheeled the bicycles, I was not allowed to. We stopped for a drink in the pub next to the river there, before getting the train back to Cambridge.

Lindsay and Evan wheeled all four bicycles home, whilst Sarah dragged me to Accident and Emergency at Addenbrookes. The doctor seemed pleased that at least I had the sense to wear a helmet, even if I didn’t have the sense to stay on the bicycle. He sent me for an X-ray which came back clear and a nurse (who was absolutely wonderful in dealing with me) came along and cleaneed all the gravel and crap out of the cuts on my two palms, left elbow and left knee.

Time came, time went, the grazes have healed, but appointment three months later I still have pains in my wrist and pins and needles up my left arm. This week I had a physiotherapy appointment and there’s no timeline to my full return to fitness either, which is a shame – kickboxing season has started and a sponsored try-to-kick-me-in-the-head event sounded like a lot of fun.

It’s somewhat put a damper on my ability to complete stupid challenges over the past three months, but not to worry, once I am mended I’ll be back doing daft things – including training for a triathlon. I’m just going to have to be a little bit more careful about the whole learning how to cycle thing.

If you think I should train for a Triathlon, please donate some pennies to Little Miracles and leave a note to let me know it is to encourage me towards my Triathlon attempt.

My niece pointed out that no wonder I fell off my bicycle, the ground behind me is far too rocky!
Yet another reason why I shouldn’t be allowed on a bicycle.
...And this is what I looked like at the start of my three week holiday in Japan!
A&E did a remarkable job of patching me up, although I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t a little over the top!


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